Why Did Britain Join the "Coalition of the Willing"? One Word: BP
During the run up to the Iraq war, people used to ask me why Tony Blair would lend his more liberal cred to the misbegotten adventure and join himself at the hip with Bush on such an obvious blunder. I would simply say" "BP."
A BP-led group won a deal to develop Iraq's biggest oilfield but had to slash its fee as Baghdad's tough terms put off other investors in the country's first major energy auction since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Other companies, including firms from resource-hungry China and India that are eager to get a share of the world's third largest oil reserves, balked at the fees and Iraq failed to strike deals on most of the eight oil and gas fields on offer.
The controversial auction of Iraq's prized assets took place on the same day that the U.S. troops who toppled Saddam Hussein quit Iraq's cities and left security chiefly to the country's own forces. The sale aims to raise funds for reconstruction as Iraq also takes greater charge of its economy.